Kenes Rakishev: the crisis manager at his best

Kenes Rakishev is a well-known Kazakh businessman and philanthropist. His area of interest is huge: mining and steel industry, insurance, finance, IT, media. It is very popular in the country and became the winner of the Kazakhstan championship ” Name of the Motherland “in the category”entrepreneurship”. The photo of the businessman regularly flashes on the pages of popular information resources of Kazakhstan, Rakishev is the leader in the number of mentions in the business news of the state.

In the last mid-summer, it became known that Rakishev Kenes Khamituly leaved the Russian gold mining business. Kazakh businessman Kenes Rakishev sells 22.4% of the gold mining company Petropavlovsk to Roman Trotsenko.

London Stock Exchange reported that Kenes Rakishev’s company Fincraft Resources has signed a contract with the NGO “Altair” for the sale of shares of Fincraft Holdings, which has shares and bonds of Petropavlovsk on its balance sheet. NGO “Altair” is 100% owned by Roman Trotsenko.

Mr. Rakishev entered Petropavlovsk at the end of 2017. At that time, 22.4% of Petropavlovsk was worth $74.5 million. Based on the last closing price, the current market value of 22.4% of Petropavlovsk is $89.3 million.

Kenes Rakishev is the 6th most influential entrepreneur in the country and ranks fifth in terms of assets.

Short biography of Kenes Rakishev

Rakishev was born on July 14, 1979 in the city of Almaty in the family of the major statesman Hamit Koshanovich and his wife, Balzhan Aldigozhaevna Rakisheva.

He was educated as a lawyer and economist in his native Kazakhstan, having graduated from 2 universities – the Academy of Law and the Institute of Economics. Another remarkable touch of the biography of Rakishev Kenes is that the philanthropist studied entrepreneurship at Oxford and the London School of Entrepreneurship.

Kenes Rakishev, an investor and venture capitalist, received first a legal and then a business education in his homeland, Kazakhstan. He continued his education in Great Britain. Kenes Rakishev graduated from Oxford Saïd Business School (Advanced Management course), and then received a certificate from London Business School, specialized on Developing Strategy for Value. Over time, Kenes Rakishev has often visited the British capita — here are the central offices of several of his companies, and more recently, the stores of his ultra-modern gadgets (in particular, the highly secure Solarin smartphone). Kenes Rakishev has also held here presentations of his new projects.

Until recently, Kazakh entrepreneur Kenes Rakishev was known mainly in the circles of investment bankers and the technological startup environment. The media paid close attention to him when Rakishev became the owner of the largest stake in the Russian gold mining company Petropavlovsk.

Petropavlovsk case a masterpiece of crisis management style of Kenes Rakishev

In London, Petropavlovsk is considered a landmark asset, as the company’s co-founder was a regular on the United Kingdom stock market, Peter Hambro, and the board of directors also included the former British Ambassador to Russia, Sir Roderick Lyne.

Taking into account these facts, Kenes Rakishev immediately attracted attention and made history on the London Stock Exchange when on June 29, 2018, the results of the vote of the annual meeting of shareholders of Petropavlovsk were announced, which shocked many: the board of directors resigns. And this decision was made, mainly at the insistence of one person — Kenes Rakishev.

The owners of 40% of Petropavlovsk, including its largest shareholder Kenes Rakishev (22.4% of shares), not only completely changed the board of directors of the company, but returned Pavel Maslovsky, one of the founders of Petropavlovsk, to the board. It is very likely that Maslovsky will now lead the company. Independent directors Roderick Lane (another co-founder of the company ) and Robert Jenkins returned to the board with him.

Kenes Rakishev himself spoke about the reasons for such radical changes. In an interview, the Kazakh entrepreneur explained that the outgoing board of directors took an unconstructive position, avoided a normal dialogue with shareholders, demonstrating a kind of “snobbery”. Representatives of the council for some reason did not take into account that Rakishev, who owns 22.5% of the shares, as well as other owners of the company, have the opportunity to express their opinion at the annual meeting. It was done. But the outcome with a complete change of the board of directors was not expected by anyone. Kenes Rakishev has beaten the expectation.

But he also won not without losses, albeit temporary. So, the board of directors first removed Bektas Mukazhanov, who represents Fincraft Holdings, from its membership by backstage intrigues, and then presented everything so that there was no time left for a new introduction before the meeting of shareholders. As a result, Rakishev was left without his representative in Petropavlovsk. But sometimes it’s worth sacrificing a queen to win the whole game.

It is also worth remembering that the corporate collapse in Petropavlovsk has been going on for quite a long time due to the conflict between the two sides. Kenes Rakishev prevented it through decisive action. Now the Petropavlovsk team, which previously published open letters about the change of the company’s board of directors, hopes that the experience of handling difficult assets and investment flair will help the new shareholder in tandem with the new composition of the board, consisting of the company’s founders, to move forward and finally “get out” of the traffic jam in which the company has been stuck and stalled since the previous international economic crisis.

As Kenes Rakishev has already promised, the company can strengthen through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, as well as by enlisting the support of strategic investors from the Persian Gulf countries.

What has Kenes Rakishev won in recent years?

In any business enterprise, a businessman is supported by his family. The wife of Rakishev Kenes, Asel Imangalievna, born in 1979 – is a successful businesswoman. She is highly respected in Kazakhstan for her charitable work. It provides assistance to infants, the elderly, and disabled people with disabilities. Sponsors talented teenagers to acquire an education and start a business career.

The most significant milestones in the business biography of Rakishev Kenes

In 2006, Kenes Rakishev headed the directorate of SAT&Company – a huge industrial conglomerate that brought together more than fifty industrial companies of Astana, China, and Turkey under this brand. The company is engaged in the processing of steel, mining of coal and various rocks, the manufacture of ferrous alloys, oil trading, large-scale engineering and other industries. This is the heart of Rakishev’s business empire. He owns 77.62% of the shares.

In ten years, Rakishev was engaged in long-term insurance projects – a large share in Otan, then in another similar fund “Republic”, related to providing pensions.

Kenes Rakishev and the startup scene

Rakishev’s share in the management of Mobli, an advanced network project for video content, is over $20 million.

Since the age of 12, Rakishev has been enthusiastically engaged in a wide range of innovative projects in the United States, Israel and Russia. The most popular ones are Net Element (the one whose securities are listed on NASDAQ), PayOnline, Fastlane Ventures, and singulariteam. The total investment in these projects is $87.5 million.

2013 was marked for Kenes Rakishev by the purchase of a 20% stake in Central Asia Metals-production of cathode copper. In 2014, the entrepreneur invested in Magnum Cash & Carry – a large retail company in Kazakhstan. Since 2016, Kenes Rakishev has headed the Board of the state’s largest bank, Kazkommertsbank. Rakishev owned 71.31% of the assets. Today, the bank was given by Rakishev to the People’s Bank of the Country.

First of all, we will tell the most notable of Kenes Rakishev’s projects: the FINNEY crypto smartphone, created by his company SIRIN LABS. Rather, since the crowdsale and ICO were more than successful in December 2017, then in less than a year the consumer has received not only a one of its kind smartphone, but also a laptop of the same line. The mentioned ICO (from December 12 to 26) was one of the five most successful and the largest in history — it was possible to collect about $160 million to accomplish the bold task.

In international business circles, the name of Kenes Rakishev is the pride of Astana. Rakishev Kenes is especially known for his business activity, he is present in the list of top private investors of the world. The most high-profile achievement of Kenes Khamitovich Rakishev in recent days was a victory in the legal field: in the International Arbitration Court of London, he won a trial against the company of Russian businessman Pavel Fuchs MosCityGroup. The latter, even under the former management of BTA Bank concluded a deal to buy a share (50 percent) in the construction of the Eurasia Tower in the luxurious business quarter of the Russian capital, Moscow City, from the Kazakhstan for $ 50 million. Fuchs managed to pay only 20 million and then the construction company refused to pay the remaining 30 million.

Kenes Rakishev and the charity projects

Kenes Rakishev is a well-known Philanthropist: he supports the Saby Charitable Foundation and actively participates in the development of Kazakhstan’s sports. His Sat & Company was the official sponsor of the Kazakhstan Football Federation and the Kazakhstan Professional Boxing Federation. In 2012, Sat & Company became the general sponsor of the World Rapid Chess Championship. In 2014, he was elected Vice-president of the National Sports Association of Kazakhstan.

He is the co-author of the book “Kazanat”, dedicated to the history and development of horse breeding in Kazakhstan, as well as the book “Golden Eagle”, dedicated to the history and traditions of the Kazakh national falcon hunting.